Today’s Mass Readings

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I really empathize with Peter in today’s Gospel as he makes the bold statement, “I will lay down my life for you.” Like Peter, we are quick to name the things we are doing right. In the case of working toward racial justice, claiming the ways we are not racist is easy. “I don’t use racial slurs.” “I have friends of color.” “I read this in-depth article about racism in our country.”

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A recent Black Lives Matter “die-in.”

I also really empathize with Jesus’ quick quip: but will you really? Too often, I have felt silenced or “othered” by folks quick to make “I am not a racist” claims. Too often, I have witnessed these folks perpetuate systems that prioritize white voices and leave the voices of people of color out.

Often, we are afraid of naming when we are racist. As Peter’s fear caused him to deny his friend Jesus, our fear prevents us from naming for ourselves moments when we are complicit in and contribute to racism. Our fear prevents us from taking the first steps toward laying down our lives to work toward racial justice.

As Peter was later poignantly forgiven by the resurrected Christ and committed his life (eventually laying it down) to following Jesus’ teachings, we must remember to continually move past our fears and our guilt to build the racially just world that we long for.

Reflection Questions

  • What does it mean for you to lay down your life for Jesus and racial justice?
  • What fears prevent you from following Jesus by working toward racial justice?

1 reply
  1. Avatar
    Elaine says:

    Annmarie (beautiful name, by the way), your comment in the second paragraph catches my attention. I am white. What you mention in this paragraph happens to people of any color depending on the situation. It indeed hurts to know and see racism happening but, believe me it is not just “whites” whose voices and opinions dominate-it just depends on the situation as to who and “if” someone’s voice is going to be left out–white or colored.
    When we experience prejudice, it stings. The “color” doesn’t matter. What matters is that all humanity recognize that we are ALL made in the image and likeness of God ( check Genesis 1 out on that).
    Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    Reply

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